QATARI DIAR welcomes Chelsea Barracks decision
20 June 2011 (London)
QATARI DIAR Real Estate Investment Company has welcomed the decision by Westminster City Council to approve the outline planning application for the redevelopment of the former Chelsea Barracks.
The application was submitted in December through QATARI DIAR’s wholly owned subsidiary Project Blue Ltd. QATARI DIAR were singled out for praise by Westminster's Planning Committee for the extraordinary effort which had gone into involving the whole community and the sensitivity of their proposals for what was described as “a new Great Estate for London.” Councillor Alistair Moss, Chairman of the Planning and City Development Committee for Westminster City, summarised, “QATARI DIAR have set a planning exemplar. They should be publicly praised for the consultation of local residents and other stakeholders — the proposed development is one we should all be proud of.”
Eng. Mohammed bin Ali Al-‐Hedfa, Group CEO of QATARI DIAR, commented: "We are delighted that, after an exhaustive 21-month public consultation process that showed a high level of support for the Masterplan, Westminster City Council has decided to approve this application.” The 12.8 acre Chelsea Barracks site had been in military use and closed to the public for more than 150 years. The Masterplan will open up and reconnect it to the surrounding areas of Belgravia and Chelsea in a new integrated residential neighbourhood in a landscaped setting. Houses and apartments will be combined with local convenience shops, restaurants, a multi-‐purpose community/cultural centre, a public sports and fitness facility and a medical centre. QATARI DIAR’s masterplan envisages a complete new community that is both distinctive and recognisable as a London neighbourhood. The buildings will be diverse in scale and character and linked by some 5 acres of new streets, squares and gardens in an attractive, walkable, sustainable environment. The landscaped areas will feature productive gardens, public art and more than 100 new trees set in some of London first new squares for more than a century. The 21-month consultation process has included over 30 public events, with 8 workshops and an Open Day attended by nearly 600 local people. Nine newsletters have been produced and distributed to 5000 local residents, interest groups and individuals. Regular meetings have been held with both the Residents’ Liaison Group, representing nearly 3300 households in the adjacent streets and the Community Liaison Group, involving representatives of amenity groups, traders, local schools and the Metropolitan Police. Nick Yarker, Local Ward Councillor, also noted: “There has been extensive community consultation which has taken place in a constructive atmosphere and there has been a clear desire to engage with as many people from the community as possible. This is admirable."
“The challenge has been to balance a diverse and sometimes conflicting range of views and create a masterplan for a new district that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable," said Al-Hedfa.
"We believe we have achieved an excellent proposal with a high level of public support for the development of this important and historic site in the heart of London."
Al-Hedfa added: "Qatari Diar has long-term commitment to London and, in particular, to the redevelopment and management of this site, despite very challenging current economic conditions."
"We would like to thank all those individuals and groups who have contributed so much to the creation of this Masterplan and its approval by Westminster City Council, particularly the local community. We look forward to working in partnership with both the council and the community to progress the development of Chelsea Barracks."